Bike Commuting the Bay Area
It’s hard to imagine a place better suited to bicycling than the San Francisco Bay Area. With its sunny, mild weather, scenic vistas, compact geographical size and environmentally conscious citizens, this urban oasis practically screams out: Bike me! And of course, there’s a significant financial advantage, too. With the high cost of living (not to mention parking) in the Bay Area, commuting by bicycle makes crazy good sense. All you need to get started is a reliable pair of wheels and a little local know how! (see below)
Biking with BART
Many Bay Area bike commuters use BART to travel long distances. Luckily, BART is bicycle friendly, as long as riders follow a few simple rules. During peak commuting hours, bikes are not allowed on the first three cars and never on the first car (and don’t even think about carrying your bicycle on escalators or crowded stairways). Click here to learn about taking your bike on BART.
While many BART stations include spaces for parking your bicycle, BART Bike Stations, run by BikeHub, provides secure bike parking and so much more including valet, bike rentals, repairs and even classes. Check out bartbikestation.com to learn more.
Bikes on Caltrain
If your commute includes traveling between San Francisco and stops along the Peninsula, you’ll find yourself a regular on Caltrain. Fortunately, your bicycle is more than welcome, too. Taking your bike on Caltrain is easy and free. You need only attach a yellow Caltrain tag to your bike’s handlebars, and use one of Caltrains specialized bike cars (each train has two of them). To make the journey that much smoother, Caltrain Bike Station, operated by BikeHub, provides secure parking at the San Francisco station, including valet and bike repairs, too. Visit the Caltrain Bike Station website for more information.
Bay Area Ferries
Commuting by sea is something special. It also makes good sense, as many of the Bay Area’s key residential and business zones are easily accessible by water. Bicycles are welcome aboard all Golden Gate Ferry vessels on a first-come basis, so as long as there is room for your bike, get ready to sail off into the sunset (or at least into the office). Many of the Bay’s ferry terminals include U-shaped bicycle racks, and they are always free of charge.
Throughout San Francisco and the surrounding area designated bike lanes help keep riders safe and drivers out of the way of bicycle commuters. Many local organizations provide maps, routes and even interactive guides to help bicyclists avoid those pesky 40-degree inclines and, more importantly, collisions with cars.
Following in the footsteps of some very successful programs in a few ultra-progressive European cities, the San Francisco Bay Area is now home to its very own Bike Share. Those who join can borrow and return Bike Share’s hipster, powder-blue bicycles from any of the organization’s many stations throughout San Francisco and at key sites along the Peninsula.
Buses and Bridges
For more information on taking your bike onboard Bay Area public transportation or over the many beautiful bridges that connect the City to neighboring communities visit the following sites: AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, fondly known as MUNI along with the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Bridge.